desire towards the ‘otherness’

This last year, as there haven’t been any opportunities to go to meetings in person, I’ve been doing a lot of “virtual networking”. I used to attend face-to-face events regularly, and after the first couple, I was reasonably comfortable walking into a room of strangers and starting a conversation. But it’s been difficult to re-create the atmosphere and dynamic of a physical meeting in an online situation.

It’s certainly all a lot easier than it was back in spring last year, and everyone is a lot more confident about being seen on screen, but the hosts are still uncertain who will turn up and how experienced they will be in the virtual world, so they often fall back on fairly simple ice-breaker activities.
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too late for love

Well, no, it probably isn’t really too late for love, but I singularly failed to write a blog post for Valentine’s Day as I didn’t get finished with work till around ten that night. Although I had found several ideas I thought would be appropriate, I couldn’t face trying to put them all in order at that stage of the day.

So, although it is no longer quite so relevant, I will try to do so now.

To begin with, I thought I could claim that it was romance that had kept me working so late, as I was writing a tender proposal.
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love stories

With today being Valentine’s Day, it was easy to decide what type of poetry to take to the open mike last night. But so much of my poetry comes under the broad scope of love poetry, and it’s a genre that comes in so many shapes, styles and sizes that it was less easy to decide exactly which pieces to read. In the end, I chose a short set, which I hoped told some kind of story.

coral red japonica flowers
For the blog, I’ve made a slightly different selection, grouping together a number of pieces I’ve posted before, a couple that have been published in magazines, and a couple that have never really aspired to do more than just lurk in my files.
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valentine

grey car

I know that you’re
a thousand miles away,
yet each grey car I glimpse
demands I look again

losing the thread

Amor, Amor
(after Garcilaso de la Vega)

Love offered me a cloth so fine and rich,

with folds so ample, I could not refuse

but sewed myself a habit, stitch by stitch.

I find the garment shrinks with daily use:

its generous measures pucker and draw tight,

I suffocate where once I’d room to spare;
I stretch and strain to free myself, I fight,

yet still the precious fabric will not tear.
Come, show me one who wants to cut these ties –

these homespun tapes we fashion for our lives

to bind ourselves to husbands or to wives –

and I will show you one who’s spinning lies.

Each wears the cloth he wove, though I confess

I wonder if mine’s shroud or wedding dress.

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